Boreal forest - Mercer Island School District

Boreal forest - Mercer Island School District

BOREAL FOREST T H E W O R L D S N O RT H W O O D S LOCATION FEATURES Characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches

Large biodiversity Largest terrestrial biome The taiga is found throughout the high northern latitudes, between the tundra, and the temperate forest, from about 50N to 70N, but with considerable regional variation FEATURES

In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States Northern Minnesota through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Upstate New York and northern New England known as the Northwoods

FEATURES In Eurasia, it covers most of Sweden, Finland, much of Norway, some lowland/coastal areas of Iceland, much of Russia from Karelia in the west to the Pacific Ocean (including much of Siberia), and areas of northern Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia, and northern Japan

SOIL TYPES Tends to be young and poor in nutrients Lacks deep, organically enriched profile present in temperate deciduous forest Its thinness is due largely to the cold, which hinders the development of the soil and the ease with which plants can use its nutrients Fallen leaves and moss can remain on the forest

floor for a long time and they dont contribute to the soil The acids from evergreen needles damage the soil CLIMATE The overall climate of the Boreal Forest is cold, cold, cold! The winter season takes up 6-7 months of the year, and is a very cold, yet dry,

time. The summer consists of rain and relatively warm weather. Temperatures only get up to around 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, but in winter can drop to around -65 degrees Fahrenheit. CLIMATE SEASONAL INFORMATION

Winters freezing Spring/summerflowers bloom, animals come out of hibernation, frost melt off of lakes and rivers UNIQUE FEATURES

Worlds largest land-based biome Represents 29% of the world's forest cover Temperature can drop to -65 degrees Fahrenheit There are only 50-100 frost-free days in the Taiga PLANT SPECIES Conifers: Firs, pines, spruces, hemlocks, larches

Mosses and lichens ANIMAL SPECIES Lynx, bobcat -Feeds on rodents, hares, and other small prey Elk Snowshoe hare -Brown fall coat to white winter coat for camouflage Grizzly bear

-Large prey, fish, plant material Wolves, foxes -Important carnivores PLANT ADAPTATION Coniferous trees -They shed snow easily and retain their needles through the winter. The needles themselves are well-adapted, with thick waxy coatings and small surface area, to resist cold conditions and minimize water loss, an important

consideration in the Boreal where water may be frozen much of the year. Together, these adaptations mean that even in cool conditions, if the temperature rises above freezing during the day photosynthesis can proceed. Broadleaf plants usually lose their leaves at the start of freezing conditions in the fall and will not regrow them until most of the danger of frost has passed. This means that the growing season of broad-leafed trees is much shorter than it is for coniferous trees, and the advantage the coniferous trees gain allows them to dominate in the cold taiga climate

ANIMAL ADAPTATION Insulation -An insulating layer keeps an animal's body warm in winter, and cool in summer. Caribou have dense coats of hollow hairs that not only provide superb protection from the cold, but also help them stay afloat as they cross lakes and rivers. Wolves have excellent fur insulation, enabling them to hunt on all but the coldest days. Ptarmigan and grouse grow thick layers of down.

CONIFEROUS CANOEING Canoeing enthusiasts find the boreal a great place to paddle. More than 1,600 miles of lake and river travel includes canoe routes along several the Allanwater, Flindt, Pikitigushi and Ogoki rivers that flow through the boreal forest. Paddlers might spot caribou swimming across the lakes or along the shores of the rivers. The Boreal contains an expansive area of dry lichen, a favorite food of caribou.

Moose, bears, lynx, timber wolves and snowshoe hares also live in the region. SOURCES _id= 92 canadian_boreal_forests.cfm BY LANA KLEINER-KANTER, MAKENNA PELLERIN, AND ERVIN HAM

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